Texas Parks & Wildlife

Saltwater fishing along parts of Texas’ coasts is not permitted starting midnight Monday through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

In addition to killing game fish in shallow bay waters, the cold temperatures could cause surviving fish to group in a few deeper areas where they become sluggish and prone to capture. The department aims to close these areas to fishers.

“The high mortality that a freeze can cause may deplete fish stocks for years,” said Robin Riechers, director of the agency’s Coastal Fisheries Division. “Protection of the surviving fish during the few days when they are especially vulnerable to capture would likely shorten the time period for overall recovery of coastal species, especially spotted sea trout.”

“We hope people understand we are doing this to prevent overfishing in these areas,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Capt. Chris Bird.

The state has about 2 million acres of bays and estuaries susceptible to freeze. There were three major freezes during the 1980s, including one in 1989 when the temperature at Brownsville dropped to 16 degrees and an estimated 11 million fish were killed in the freeze event. The last time there was a closure due to freezing temperatures was in January 2018. That freeze did not kill significant numbers of fish.

TPWD Temporarily Closes Fishing On Texas Coast, Feb. 13

County Nearest City Site Name Description
Aransas Aransas Pass City by the Sea All waters and canals of the City by the Sea subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 57.08" N; 97° 06.05" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 57.04" N; 97° 06.06" W).
Aransas Fulton The Raquetball All waters and channels of the Racquetball Club development Club west of line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (28° 05.94" N; 97° 01.73" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 05.96" N; 97° 01.73" W).
Aransas Fulton Kon Tiki All waters and canals of the Kon Tiki development west of a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall adjacent to the end of the fishing pier (28° 06.04" N; 97° 01.49" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 05.99" N; 97° 01.49" W).
Aransas Rockport Bahia Bay All waters and canals of the Bahia Bay subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 57.63" N; 97° 05.66" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 58.65" N; 97° 05.66" W).
Aransas Rockport Cove Harbor Entire harbor west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 59.37" N; 97° 04.38" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 59.42" N; 97° 04.35" W).
Aransas Rockport La Buena Vida All waters and canals of the La Buena Vida subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 57.31" N; 97° 05.89" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 58.36" N; 97° 05.89" W).
Aransas Rockport Little Bay All waters of Little Bay and connected waters west of Nine Mile Point on Key Allegro (28° 01.98" N; 97° 01.52" W), including Blevins Channel south of the entryway seawall (28° 03.05" N; 97° 01.87" W), Leggett Channel west of the entryway seawall (28° 01.80" N; 97° 01.84" W) and all canals within the Key Allegro and Harbor Oaks subdivisions.
Aransas Rockport Palm Harbor All waters and canals of the Palm Harbor subdivision west of the GIWW and a line beginning at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 58.05" N; 97° 05.36" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 58.03" N; 97° 05.36" W).
Aransas Rockport Rockport Harbor Entire harbor north of the entryway seawall and a line beginning on the entryway seawall (28° 01.19" N; 97° 02.89" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 01.19" N; 97° 03.00" W).
Aransas Lamar Sea Gun Marina Entire harbor north of the entryway seawall and a line beginning Harbor at a point on the entryway seawall (28° 08.06" N; 97° 00.40" W) extending across the entrance to a point (28° 08.11" N; 97° 00.42" W).
Calhoun Port O’Connor Army Hole The enclosed waters between the Matagorda Island State Park docks and Pringle Lake.
Cameron Brownsville Brazos Santiago Pass South Jetty Gulf of Mexico from and including the Brazos Santiago Pass south jetty along the beach for one half statute mile and out from shore for 1,000 yards.
Cameron Port Isabel Point Isabel Area from shore out to a line from the high point of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on the northwest and the end of the old causeway on the southeast including the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway bounded by the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway on the north and the Port Isabel Swing Bridge on the south. Does not include the adjacent canal in Port Isabel.
Galveston Dickinson, Texas City Moses Lake From Moses Lake to the Tide gate, to include the navigational channel up to the northern shoreline of Dollar Bay (area corresponds to 29° 26.00" N to 29° 27.00" N). Dollar Bay and Moses Bayou are not included.
Galveston Galveston Offats Bayou All of Offats Bayou east of Marker 22.
Matagorda Matagorda Matagorda Entire harbor from the entrance to the Gulf ICWW.Harbor
Matagorda Palacios Shrimp Basin Entire shrimp basin from the entrance to Matagorda Bay, including all turning basins.
Nueces Corpus Christi Padre Island The area is bounded on the north by Packery Channel, on the subdivision west by the ICWW and on the south by a line drawn due east from the intersection of the New Humble Channel and the ICWW to the mainland (along 27° 35.25" N).
Orange Bridge City Entergy Outfall Entire canal – from the mouth of the canal at the Neches River Canal to the power plant.
San Patricio Aransas Pass Conn Brown Entire harbor north and west of the GIWW and a line beginning from the Harbor at a point on the entryway seawall (27° 53.96" N; 97° 08.09" W) extending across the entrance to a point (27° 53.82" N; 97° 08.13" W).
Willacy Port Mansfield Port Mansfield Entire harbor from the corners of the bulkheads on either side of Harbor to the harbor mouth

The agency asks anglers and coastal residents to report any freeze related fish kills or large numbers of sluggish or cold-stunned fish by calling the Texas Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Communications office at 281-842-8100 or 512-389-4848.

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